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NBC Bay Area News at 11

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Tokyo 27, Us 11, Hawaii 7, Japan 6, George Kiriyama 5, Usgs 5, Pacific 5, New Zealand 5, Sendai 4, San Francisco 4, Christchurch 4, Mr. Ellsworth 3, Ellsworth 3, Jeff Ranieri 3, Luis Obispo 2, Jay Leno 2, Jessica 2, North America 2, Kennasuma 1, Omg 1,
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  NBC    NBC Bay Area News at 11    News  News/Business. New.  

    March 10, 2011
    11:00 - 11:35pm PST  

11:00pm
they continue to profit... by selling kids the same lies... to get them to use... the same deadly products. don't be big tobacco's next victim. breaking news out of japan where a huge, a great earthquake has thundered through that country. an 8.8 magnitude quake off of the northeastern coast of that country. just a distance from tokyo. that happening at 2:46 japan time about 9:46 this evening here. that triggered a 13-foot tsunami in that area. >> and those pictures that you were just seeing just a moment ago was the leading edge of that tsunami moving in. those were live pictures from japan as a 13-foot we're back to those live pictures right now, look at that, that's a wall of water that is moving inland. the tsunami caused by this
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earthquake. i think in the top the screen. you can see a boat being carried inland. epicenter of this earthquake about 240 miles northwest of tokyo. they felt it. and they felt it hard in tokyo, large buildings shook violently. workers poured into the streets. there are reports of even buildings toppled and fires going on right now in tokyo. again 240 miles away. >> again, an 8.8 earthquake but this is not the first earthquake to rock japan in the last few da days. another earthquake 7.2 on wednesday. that was followed by 16 other aftershocks. all of them above 6.0 magnitude. but then just this evening at 9:46 our time, that area again walloped by an 8.8 earthquake. we want to bring in bill ellsworth with the usgs with us right now to talk about this kind of earthquake. mr. ellsworth, are you with us? >> caller: yes, i am. >> tell me first start about this magnitude. a great earthquake. 8.8. that has to be some very severe
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shaking. talk to us about the kind of damage that that earthquake can inflict. >> caller: we're fearing that there will be very economic loss and injury of this earthquake and magnitude in this japan. we're still gathering information but it appears that the earthquake began in the north and they've ruptured down towards tokyo so the very strong shaking that you've heard reported in tokyo and other coastal cities really suggest that there's going to be widespread damage and economic loss in central japan. >> bill, ask you, just turn down the volume in the tv in the background but ask you about the tvtures you're seeing on thecc: right now. do you see that wall of water coming in right now? >> caller: no i'm not near a television so i'm not sure where you are picking that up. >> we are watching water move inland. a 13-foot tsunami came long onshore long after this earthquake. >> caller: actually much larger as much as 30 feet. >> as much as 30 feet of water you now tell us. >> caller: yeah. this is very similar in size to the earthquake that struck chile ago.about one yearcc1:
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it was also magnitude 8.8. and if you remember in the case it affected quakecc1: several hundred miles of the chilean coast. we can expect similar kind of effects from this earthquake in japan. tretching from the northcc1: central part. 7 million people. down into tokyo metropolitan area. so a very major event. one quick question. what does it tell you when you a1: 7.2 they've hadcc earthquake on wednesday, followed by so many other earthquakes, all of them, major earthquakes and now to have this great earthquake follow that? >> caller: well, this is something that the japanese seismologists were certainly and we've ry closelycc1: had a number of conversations with them about it but of course unfortunately it's not possible to say until after the fact that they were foreshocks and refer to them now. >> mr. ellsworth -- >> bill olsworth, thank you very much for joining us and draw people's attention to this picture again that we're watching. not only just got -- i don't know if you see the water coming in but roadways, are there cars
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right in front of that, we were watching people live right now fleeing the tsunami as a result of this earthquake. that is amazing pictures we're looking at right now. i want to bring in chief meteorologist jeff ranieri. of course we're seeing this tsunami in this situation but something this big triggers threats and warnings all across the pacific. what are you hearing about that? >> yeah that's right, garvin. what i want to do is set that up location once again about 80 miles off of the coastline of syindi. and that earthquake and numerous very strong aftershocks building up, that wall of water, we are getting a report of once again some tsunami action in ona hama. that's about 134 miles to the south and the west of the epicenter of that earthquake and then as we take you to the north, also some other new information of a possible tsunami in kesanuma. again a lot of video.
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a lot of major, major destruction coming in but those are the two key areas where we are finding this tsunami damage that is catastrophic and is certainly is going to be deadly in many cases as we zoom out you can see where some of the -- most video is coming in, once again from onahama and where the epicenter of that earthquake was centered. now tokyo is still well to the south. but there are still concerns certainly and fears of you know more aftershocks that could send more walls up into the water into the vulnerable coastline. i did check on the tsunami warning site and there is the chance that hawaii could be impacted here as we head into about 12:59 pacific time. that's our local time with possibly some higher wave action. i'm going to look a little bits closer at that and i'll get back to you guys with more information. >> okay, thank you.
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we'll check in with you a little bit later. again, japan does lie in that ring of fire. we've talked to you about this before it's ring of fire is that arc of a quake zone in the pacific rim. very prone to earthquakes and again we see the result of that tonight with this 8.8 earthquake. so that news continues to unfold people are trying to keep in touch with loved ones in japan using social networking. >> nbc bay area's george kiriyama has been doing just that. george has been in contact with them. sometimes the social media sites the only way that george has been able to communicate with these folks. what have you been hearing from them? >> reporter: well, i'm talking to a couple mooch friends. one on facebook and one on twitter. my friend on facebook she works in an office building in tokyo on the ninth floor of this high-rise. she says during this facebook chat she said it started with a tremor, then after one minute the shaking got worse. the coffeemaker fell. folders fell.
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she started to shake inside and out. it last a few minutes. longer than most japanese people have felt at least what my co-workers telling me, what she's saying. inside on the ninth floor. she's -- she's saying we're told to stay inside. i see people on the streets station.:t of thecc some are wearing helmets. my staff said it's safer indoors until buildings collapsed but they don't think that will happen. the cell phones and land lines are down and elevators are not work as well. go to twitter with my friend tocomoto asaca who work for the associated prees in tokyo, she says about an hour ago right after the quake happened, wow, that was the biggest earthquake i felt in my nine years in japan. very scarey. she says we're on the seventh floor of the kyoto building. it's still shaking. she felt another aftershock a few minutes later and i will scroll up here and just take a look at what she's seeing here. she's seeing the -- line in tokyo has stopped. passengers have gotten out and are walking on elevated tracks. everyone is being led to the 1:now.floorcc
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after the second quake at tokyo airport. scroll up a little bit more and you can see that is the latest ap story, she's now saying here, just nine minutes ago, she says omg, i'm watching nhk footage now, buildings being washed away in sendi. on the eastern coast of japan. go to a google map. the "a" right here where is on the coast of eastern japan. and north of tokyo. and you can just tell this is -- this is something very, very strong for them and they've been in japan for many, many years. guys. >> george, let you continue to communicate with your friends there, so we new information you're going to get out of there. let's go back to bill ellsworth from the usgs. he's with us on the phone right now. bill, you've heard some these reports, we're also hearing on cnn, some people saying that this earthquake may have lasted even a few minutes. what can you tell us about that.
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>> caller: well, of this quake of magnitude we would expect this to happen. the largest earthquake that has hit japan for at least a century. so it is a very major event. and unfortunately it has affected a very significant part of the industrialized coastline. your reporter mentioned sendi city which is one of the major cities in northern japan. there will be major damage ands. >> bill, thank you very much again for helping us understand all this. i just wanted to put some perspective into this and you talk about the epicenter in the distance and the miles. this would be the same in california terms as this earthquake hitting san luis obispo and the buildings in san francisco shaking, roughly 240 miles away. from an san franciscocc1: earthquake in san luis obispo to give you an idea how powerful this was and where it is being felt. draw your attention back to these pictures that you're watching on tv right now as this tsunami that we've heard now. water 30 feet high
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continues to move inward. itcc1: picture we watch envelop buildings. farm field and scariest thing that you see is cars and perhaps people -- >> people running just ahead of that wall of water. may be deceptive from this angle.cc1: just how fast that water is moving but to be in front of that and trying to get out of path of that is -- has got to be terrifying. >> we saw that during the indonesian earthquake a few years ago when the wall of water came in and just took cities for miles and miles. let's bring in jeff ranieri again. jeff, talk to us about the power of a tsunami when you are seeing a wave that mr. ellsworth said could be as high as 30 feet high. what kind of power does that have? >> i mean the sheer power and the force of the earthquake from the reports that we're hearing that could have lasted in upwards of two minutes long. now has if we can take my graphics just or you know even minimize it a little bit here. we is a tsunami watch that is now in place for the hawaii
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region. the first possible wave action we could see there right around 12:59. that is our local time. watch.this is a cc1: this is the least severe but certainly some wave action still could be felt from this 8.8 earthquake that did potentially shake for about two minutes. let's go back to my maps real quickly as we're continuing to get video in. what you're finding is the earthquake. centered 80 miles off the northern japan coastline. sendai. the closest location at least to the epicenter of that. reports of -- 1: certainly some tsunami and major catastrophic possible damage down into onahama and also off towards the north in kennasuma so really this earthquake, this center of it, spreading out this -- this enormous wave action in both directions, to the north and to the south. once again kennasuma and onahama
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seem to be where some of this worst and most devastating video is coming in as we heard from george kiriyama earlier near sendai hearing from his twitter reports in some cases, extremely talk and high buildings. just completely collapsing under shear force of this quake and there have been reports of this coming down from an 8.8 to 8.4 and even heard an 8.2. nonetheless once you get over that 8.0 richter scale as the both of you know you're talking about a great quake. perspective, our 1906 earthquake here in san francisco was about a 7.8. and you know the depth of that here in that happenedcc1: san francisco you know it was fairly shallow but when you take this -- some of the initial reports putting this 8.8 quake some 15 miles below the earth's a face which is consideredcc1: fairly deep earthquake. so you know wow, this was deep.
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the overall strength, the size, the length that each shook, just proved to be too, too powerful and catastrophic for northern japan as they're now dealing with this enormous disaster on their hands at this moment. that continues to bring the devastating effects. >> and to put it into perspective, we were talking about the indonesian earthquake in december 2004, that was a 9.1. larger than seeing here but not by much and that killed over 230,000 people in four different countries. >> let's get back to george kiriyama he's been online using social media to connect with friends of his in japan friends who felt the earthquake. and -- or possibly feeling the aftershocks as well watching some of the same pictures that you are and reacting to them. george, what's the latest you've been hearing? >> well from the associated press a friend of mine who lives in tokyo, she just tweeted about six minutes ago that she retweeted one of her friends saying that the tip of the tokyo tower is bent. i will show you the twit pic
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that's been sent to me showing you the tip of the tokyo tower and this is a landmark tower and if you've ever been to tokyo a famous tower and i don't know if you can see it, it's kind of very hard but top the tokyo tower right here it is bent and it's not supposed to be bent. let's go back to ap's tweets. about three minutes ago she says i can't reach my grandma. she's 86 and lives alone. obviously very worried about her grandmother in meeto. on facebook, facebook go back to rosa, my friend who is in ninth floor high-rise working in an office building. i asked her just a few minutes ago if she felt any aftershocks? she said not yet. she said she felt the initial quake and then an aftershock a few minutes later and i'm also facebooking with a friend of mine in hawaii. just responded. i asked him how is hawaii reacting? of course tsunami watch for hawaii. he just responded, i've heard
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reports of gas stations on the west side having long lines already. so that's how my friends in hawaii are reacting to this earthquake in japan and a possible tsunami. that's what we're seeing on twitter and from my friends. >> are you saying that all communication is down in tokyo in terms of phone lines? ? >> she says right now the phone lines are spotty. she can call sometimes and other times she'll call someone and then the line goes dad. >> what about tv coverage? are they seeing tv coverage of damag damage? >> yes they have electricity and actually watching tv. most of them watching on their computers so they are getting information from the outside but right now the land lines and the cell phone lines they're down. >> so really their moefd communication is through facebook, twitter and then through online communication. >> great, thank you very much, george. bill ellsworth with the usgs has been kind enough to join us tonight and educate us all from
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a scientific perspective what's going on. bill, we're talking about the tsunami which has actual lie hit japan. we've talked about the warnings goingach in the pacific. obviously some kind of time lag when you talk about tsunami going across the pacific. any idea what the time frame whether we're talking about with tsunami in other places other than japan? >> caller: yes the tsunamis cross the ocean. so there's a lot of time that can be developed to mon tort forecast. the u.s. government runs buoys in the deep ocean to allow us to track the movement of the tsunami so we can tell if a large tsunami is approaching or not and areas that will be affected will get a warning and hopefully an all-clear if we understand that the tsunami is not go to be serious but at this point people will be watching very carefully as information from these deepwater buoys develop. >> what are the areas that you'll be focusing on in keeping an eye on? >> caller: well from past experience we know that areas such as hawaii, the allusions, alaskan coast, potentially the coast of north america could be
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hit. so these are all areas that we have to watch very carefully. >> now when you say the coast of north america, what are you talking about exactly in terms? >> caller: beginning in british columbia and then working down across the washington/oregon, possibly into the northern california area. noaa the agency that's charge of tsunami warning and i know that the folks at the pacific tsunami warning center on oahu are working very hard right now to make these forecasts accuratery. >> given the fact that they've had these earthquakes on wednesday. 7.4. followed with numerous earthquakes after this and then this crescendo of this 8.8 or 8.4 quake can we expect more rumbling after this or an earthquake of this magnitude be it? > caller: well, there willcc1: certainly be strong raveaftersh. major damage.secc1: after all we just saw the tremendous damage in
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christchurch, new zealand, after an aftershock of a muscle larger earthquake. so there could be continuing problems for some months. >> educate us for a moment of the type of faults that run through japan as opposed to the time faults that run through the bay area? the different types that there are. and would you know right off hand likely what type of fault that this was that struck in japan? cccaller: yes this was an that was on what we call a subduction zone. it's a place where the sea floor, the pacific ocean is actually sliding underneath the cc1:japan.c1: we have an analoagist situation. up the oregon/washington coast into vancouver island into british clump kbrap our zone called cascadia can generate an earthquake of this size. so these very big earthquakes they live out in the ocean and when they strike they can not only unleash very strong tsunamis but they can produce this very strong long duration shaking that is undoubtedly added to the damage that's occurring in tokyo. >> very interesting.
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japan obviously one of the most and correct me if i'm wrong one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of building for earthquake protection. to -- and now to have this put to the test in such a major way. i assume seismologists and architects and others will be looking very closely in what happened this, this earthquake to see how welt japanese buildings have fared. >> caller: indeed. it's buildings that were built before we had good codes. this was the problem in christchurch, new zealand. the same issues here in the bay area with buildings that will not do well when we're hit by a strong earthquake engineers will be looking at these buildings very quickly of how we can design buildings better and also learn to retrofit buildings that were built before there were good earthquake standards >> bill, as he pointed out, with better buildings as do you in japan can, those really withstand -- might withstand the earthquake but what protection do they have against the tsunami? >> caller: the tsunami is a
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problem and in japan they have built in many places seawalls to keep tsunamis up to several meters in height and it'll be very important to understand the actual height of this tsunami to see if any of their defenses were overwhelmed. clearly from the footage that we've been seeing on television, there are coastal areas that were just hammered by this wave. >> we're watching right now live pictures coming in from japan in what is clearly an airport that is mostly under water. just one the runways peaking out from the water that we've been watching this one massive surge of water just eat up the countryside in this area of the country. we've seen people literally fleeing for their lives in front of it, we've seen buildings swept away. who knows how many people have been killed in this tsunami. how many were not able to get away but just unbelievable scene and to watch it playing out right now in front of our eyes on live television. >> i know it's very -- it's distressing to watch. billing a question, we the earthquake in christchurch, new zealand and along that ring, so-called ring of fire.
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now we see this. is there a connection that can be drawn between these two earthquakes? or is it just the nature of that earthquake zone? >> caller: well, i think the connection to be drawn is that when you live in earthquake country you have to be prepared and even when you can make the best preparations as they have done in japan, the consequences can still be very severe so this will be a major blow to the japanese if not the world economy once everything is sorted out. >> interesting, we've been hearing reports and i'm curious if these are the pictures that we're seeing right now. i wouldn't be surprised but there are reports of fires in the port of tokyo. there has been fire reported and we talked about this a few minutes ago.cc1: george kiriyama just showed us a few minutes ago one of his friends tweeting pictures of damaged buildings in tokyo, fires in the port of tokyo. 240 miles away. that's just remarkable. back to the live pictures now. this is the airport that we're
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talking about a moment ago that the surge of water has just gone through and swallowed up that airport. a few minutes ago we're just watching people trying to get in their cars and drive away there that water. you to hang ntcc1: tight for a moment. turn our attention to meteorologist jeff ranieri. >> i sure do, as we know to look at the information you know this is probably not just one tsunami but potentially two, maybe even three tsunamis that have been created. look at this. over the past hour and a half on the current usgs site there are several large quakes. according to the usgs that first one, now look to be upgraded to an 8.9. i just checked that and also a 6.4 and then a corresponding 6.4 and then a 6.8, then a 7.1 and then a 6.3. i mean if you go to the usgs it is lighting up with this activity right across the pacific plate which is right near northern japan.
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now, the other thing, the true danger with this if they continue to see more and more activity over the next hour or so is with a tsunami. we call it the wavelength. it's kind of the amount of energy that is being stored up in the water. it's very long when you're out farther in the sea but as that ground starts to get shallow, then of course there is nowhere for that water to go and then you get that extreme wave height just before it crashes to shore and that's what people are dealing with right now. you can see these fiery pictures coming in as walls of water likely, not just one wall of water or just one tsunami but possibly several that have hit northern japan at this point as we have just told you there have been at least six different very large quakes to hit off that coastline. a very, very catastrophic here. we're hearing some of the largest walls of water are near the casanuma area and also
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onahama and down near tokyo while we've not heard any report of any tsunami action and also a larger quake that did happen just north of tokyo which was a 6.8 within the past hour and a half as well so this area is certainly as you mentioned, jessica, seeing this crescendo of activity at the moment. >> okay thank you, jeff. hang tight. we're looking at live picture s right now what's aftermath as you can see. one of the issues that happens after these earthquakes, not only are we seeing this wall of water and the tsunami but now we're starting to see the fires and the aftermath of that -- of this subduction process when the tetonic plates, one moves under the other creating that wall of water that then becomes a tsunami. >> those of you who are just joining. it was originally reported as a 7.9 earthquake. the usgs then bumped that up to 8.8. 2:46 p.m. was the local time in
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japan when this struck. reports are that the -- some say as high as 30-foot tsunami wave then came onshore. i think one of the reports was about 20 minutes after the earthquake struck. jes' been giving us some of the good facts about this. obviously you're seeing the live pictures. another source we've been dipping into, george kiriyama has friends on facebook and twitter that he's been are in ating with whocc1: japan and other places around the pacific hearing what they're having to say. george, what's the latest? >> well, i can tell you this i've been talking to my friend steve hermon. he's a correspondent for voice of america radio out there. a couple tweets sending in the last 20 minutes or so. he says the destruction hitting sendai right now is just draw dropping. on the eastern coast of japan. i'm going to scroll a little bit up here so that i can see what else he's tweeting. he says right now tsunami eating up land, homes on sendai coast relentless. then he says a few minutes later this is the disaster japan has
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feared for decades. he did say that g.g. business report reporting that tokyo disneyland parking lot has been hit by a tsunami. now as we speak apparently the japanese prime minister is addressing the nation. she appealing for public calm in this quick of this massive quake and destructive tsunami and just two minutes ago my friend steve says the first fatalities are now being confirmed from this massive quake and tsunami. just tweeted one more time. see what this is. and it says japan to accept foreign assistance for quake tsunami search and rescue. so again, my friend rosa, my first stephen dealing with this major, major quake and tsunami in japan. >> japan has one of the best search-and-rescue teams in terms of dealing with earthquakes. they travel around the world. they go to all of the big earthquakes throughout that entire region, probably one of the most sophisticated search-and-rescue teams to come out of that country.
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they're going to have their hands full working in their own country in the next few days. >> and the magnitude to what they're experiencing right now, they this soon after the earthquake know that they'll need international help and welcome in international help even as prepared as they are. we talked earlier japan has some of the best earthquake-proof or resistant buildings in the world. >> let's bring bill ellsworth back from the usgs. in terms of the tsunami that we're looking at and the water moving how many hours will we continue to be watching where the water may go and what other countries and other coasts may be affected? >> caller: on the coast of japan sloushingtle bit likecc1: in the bathtub. there will be some waves that will continue for some time, for they utes or so beforecc1: begin to disdissipate. expect the same on the other pacific ocean when the other waves ari. it won't be just a single wave that will crash but it will be activity that can last for some time.ded period of cc1: so anyone who is in an area
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that's being affected by a tsunami warning should take it very seriously and go to high ground and stay there until an all-clear is founded. >> bill, just curious update folks, 8.9. the usgs' just revived the earthquake upward, believe it or not, upward. misspeakingcc1: here, an 8.9 earthquake. bill, could you explain why the number -- why the number changes? we had 7.9, 8.8. what is changing that the number changes? >> caller: it has do with the from 1:waves that arrivecc the earthquake. the very first waves that arr e arrive. it takes time for these longer period waves to propagate and so as theythcc1: arrive we can then go in update the estimates so it took maybe 5 minutes from the initialcc1: assessment. 7.9 major earthquake to recognizing that this is in fact the great earthquake. the largest earthquake that we know it. >> explain the difference to us in terms of damage if a major
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earthquake and a great earthquake, and how does this fit in the continuum of the greatest earthquakes that have hit that we know of? >> caller: yes, the shaking in the new zealand earthquake magnitude 6.3 might had been just as strong as the shaking in this earthquake. the difference is the earthquake in japan has covered hundred and hundreds of miles so an enormous area that is being shaken strongly because the earth is moving over this huge region. if we think about our own great earthquake in 1906 even though we know that is the san francisco earthquake it actually affected more than 300 miles of the san andreas fault. the region that ruptured in that earthquake and of course it was only magnitude 7.8 so for an earthquake of this size magnitude 8.9 japan what we can hundred miles alcc1: of the seduction zone off of the east coast of japan has ruptured in this snooerk i want to remind people as we're watching a lot of the footage of the wave going in over what seems to be some
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think you tory but icc1: saw some pictures a moment ago, this wave has hit some urban areas and there was i know one picture where we saw dozens of cars which were under water as a result of the tsunami which has come in so certainly a lot of people a lot of people in the way of this water as it came in. >> bill is it unusual that they e got a 7.4 and thencc1: got a greater earthquake of 8.9 just a few days later? >> caller: it is not unprecedented but there was nothing that was clear that would connect it, this 7.2 earthquake would had been followed by such a great earthquake just a few days later. certainly seismologists will be studying this very intense activity that connects the two in great detail to better understand the process. >> and is there even a remote possibility could even have, this could be followed by an even greater earthquake? >> caller: i suppose there's a remote possibility. there is of course always more. the fault system that has not moved.
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to the north rather than to the south but as we've already seen there were strong aftershocks occurring and those have the potential for doing very serious local damage. >> i'm sorry, bill. as far as the tsunami. you talked about the number of waves that come onshore. after the first initial wave, is there some threat that that in essence paves the way and makes it easier for the following waves as it kind of breaks down some buildings and things like that, that the next waves could go further inland? >> caller: yeah, there could be certainly a building up of the energy of the the waves. word tsunami is a japanese word and it actually means a harbor wave. more like a tide coming in, in a sense that the water will get high and as it gets high, it can include breaking waves, but as that high water continues to build up that additional wave's riding on that can crash further inland. >> and we want to just point out what we're looking at right now you can see homes that are
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completely surrounded by water. we just saw an image of some people in their second story waving sheets asking for rescuers to come and save them because they can see the choppers flying over them. this is very eerily reminiscent of what we saw during katrina during the hurricane people were sawcc1: rooftops and also in christchurch, new zealand, hoping to be rescued but this water element is frightening for people because to1: do water rescues or bring in helicopters and right now we don't see a lot of rescues in terms ofcc1: happening. and it's now -- so the quake struck our time around 9:46 so at this point it's been over two hours since this initial night and the rescue effort involved in an earthquake is much different than that for a tsunami. >> yes. >> just the types of crews and the types of damage that you get. we talked about how japan has prepared very well for an earthquake but it's a whole different response when you have a seen like this where
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literally -- just in that one picture that we see hundreds of homes which have been surrounded by the tsunami waters. one can only expect that are there thousands and thousands and more up and down the coast as bill was saying with this type of earthquake, it can be a hundreds' miles-long stretch that feels some of the greatest imfractthis. >> let's bring in george kiriyama again. he's been tweeting and on facebook with some flight attendants he inside japan. george, you just mentioned a few moments ago that the prime minister of japan was taken to the airwaves. are we hearing -- are your friends hearing information in terms of the country's response right now to the earthquake or in terms of how widespread the damage is or in terms of casualties that we may have had at this point? >> jessica, i think right now everything is preliminary. and they're not hearing many, many details. they know that are there fatalities. how many fatalities? that the point they don't know. it seems like everything has been kept in general terms. i think the japanese government as far as what i can see from the tweets and the facebook
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chatting that i've been observing that everyone is kind of keeping things in general because right now the details are still not known. my friend rosa who is stuck on that ninth floor high-rise office building, she just tweeted a few minutes ago that right now no trains at the moment. some malls in tokyo have crumbled and going back to facebook a friend of mine keeping in touch in japan sendai's still to be pummeled. going to building roofs to escape not realizing the severity of what's happening here. so, guys, it's all over facebook and twitter right now. everyone tweeting and facebooking about what's going to in japan. back to you. >> okay, george, if you're joining us right now we want to let you than jay leno, we're not going to be airing jay leno right now. we're covering live coverage right now of breaking news out of japan. where a great earthquake, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake has thundered through that country. we're hearing mass accounts of

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